OUTDOOR GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL CAN CONTINUE AS AN EXEMPTION TO THE LATEST PLANNED COVID-19 MEASURES
Updated 1st October 2020
For the latest updated Q&A click on the link below:
Changing rooms are an area of increased risk of transmission. It is important that social distancing is maintained in changing rooms and showers and that they are only use if essential. All venues should encourage attendees to arrive at the facility in sports kit and where possible to travel home to change/shower. Use of changing rooms and showering facilities should in general be avoided where possible, although these must be available for participants with disabilities or special needs and are likely to be needed after swimming. If changing rooms are to be used, users should use the facilities as quickly as possible.
For more information see the Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities guidance.
Updated 17th July 2020
The FA can confirm that the UK Government approved its plan for the return of outdoor grassroots football late last night, Friday 17 July 2020.
As a result, the grassroots football community now has the opportunity to return to football and prepare for the start of the new season.
The FA has been working hard over recent weeks to prepare guidelines for the safe return of grassroots football and, following Government approval, these can now be published.
Football activity can take place with necessary modifications in place to mitigate the transmission risk of COVID-19.
The FA would strongly recommend a phased return to competitive football activity as follows:
- ·Until 31 July – When ready, you can begin competitive training, with the overall group size (inclusive of coaches) being limited to 30 people;
- ·From August– Competitive matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small sided football competitions;
- ·From September– Grassroots leagues, men’s National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6, and FA Competitions can commence.
Clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read The FA’s full guidelines, which are accessible below, in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19.
A return to competitive football should only happen once clubs and facility providers have completed the necessary risk assessments and comprehensive plans are in place.
A summary of key points to consider from The FA’s guidelines are listed for ease below:
- ·Everyone should self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms before every training session or match. If you are symptomatic or living in a household with possible or actual COVID-19 infection you must not participate or attend;
- ·Clubs and facility providers should ensure that their facility is compliant with current Government legislation and guidance related to COVID-19;
- ·Competitive training is now permitted, with groups limited to a maximum of 30 people, including coaches;
- ·Competitive match play is permitted, with social distancing in place before and after the match, and in any breaks in play
- ·Players and officials should sanitise hands before and after a game as well as scheduled breaks throughout a game or training session;
- ·Ball handling should be kept to a minimum with most contact via a boot and the ball disinfected in breaks of play;
- ·Youth football coaches are encouraged to limit persistent close proximity of participants during match play and training;
- ·Goal celebrations should be avoided;
- ·Equipment should not be shared, and goalkeepers should ensure they disinfect their gloves regularly in breaks in training or matches and thoroughly afterwards. Where possible, coaches should only handle equipment in training;
- ·Where possible, players, coaches and officials should arrive changed and shower at home. Use of changing and shower facilities must follow government advice on the use of indoor facilities;
- ·Participants should follow best practice for travel including minimising use of public transport and walking or cycling if possible. People from a household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle
- ·Clubs should keep a record of attendees at a match or training session, including contact details, to support NHS Test and Trace;
- ·Clubs should ensure they are affiliated with their County Football Association.
Separate guidance has been developed for clubs with teams competing in the men’s National League System (NLS) and the Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6. This will support these Clubs on the safe return of paying spectators and also the applicability of the guidance to facilities under Ground Grading conditions, to ensure the safe return of competitive matches.
Please note that at this stage, indoor football and futsal is not permitted. The FA will look to work with indoor facility providers to develop appropriate guidance for indoor formats as soon as possible.
The FA have provided FAQ’s and useful resource information, which is downloadable from http://www.thefa.com/news/2020/jul/17/grassroots-guidance-for-competitive-football-restart-in-england-170720
UPDATE as of 4th JULY 2020
People who play team sports can now meet to train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions but they must be in wholly separate groups of no more than 6 and follow social distancing guidelines. While groups could practice ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. Physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted, therefore playing of any games (small sided or full) is also not permitted at this time. Avoid meeting in groups of 6 in busy or overcrowded areas, if it is so busy that it is not possible to maintain social distancing at all times.
For further information follow this link
UPDATE ON BOURNEMOUTH HAYWARD FOOTBALL LEAGUE 0/06/2020
as of 1st June, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:
• playing football individually e.g. practice of individual skills or fitness activities;
• playing football with your family or other people living in your household;
• football training or fitness activities in groups of no more than six, keeping two metres apart at all times.
Sharing of equipment should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. Physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted, therefore, playing of any games (small-sided or full) is also not permitted at this time. Avoid meeting in groups of six in busy or overcrowded areas, if it is so busy that it is not possible to maintain social distancing at all times.
• Football coaches can now undertake small group sessions up to six people (including the coach) but are reminded to follow The FA safeguarding policy when coaching/working with children.
UPDATE ON NON-LEAGUE, WOMEN'S & GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL SEASONS 26/03/2020
National League System
The NLS and the women’s football pyramid were able to build a consensus amongst their leagues and, where possible, aimed to create a consistent approach across all leagues, whilst taking into account the unique characteristics of each individual league.
As a result, The FA and NLS steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged. This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two.
These decisions will also apply to the leagues and clubs who play at NLS step seven.
We will continue to assist and support the National League (NLS steps one and two) to determine the outcome of its 2019-20 season as quickly as possible. The planned implementation of the restructure of the NLS will also now be deferred until the start of the 2021-22 season.
Furthermore, we can now confirm that we have decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019-20 season. This will allow the game to move forward and to commence planning for next season. Our County Football Associations (CFAs) will be supporting grassroots leagues over the coming days to determine how they should close out their current competitions.
Following on from The FA's announcement today, Hampshire FA are fully supporting the FA’s announcement that ALL grassroots football should be postponed for the foreseeable future. Please note that this includes ALL training and playing friendly matches. This includes the Bournemouth Hayward Football League games and the M. A. Hart Cup Finals.
Having consulted with the County FA it is the decision of the Bournemouth Hayward Football League that it is Football as usual for the time being. If any Club has any concerns over playing their fixtures, will the Club Secretary please phone the office immediatley. 01202 490000. Please do take all precautions suggested below: 13/03/2020
As you are aware, the situation with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is being constantly reviewed and all grassroots clubs are advised to refer to updated information provided by the UK government via https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Hampshire FA are closely monitoring the current situation and will continue to follow the advice and guidance from The FA, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation. We suggest that clubs share the following information with members.
At the current time grassroots football matches, like other forms of public gatherings, have not been banned. However, all clubs are advised to take basic precautions to protect players, officials and spectators and to delay the development of the disease. These general precautions include:
- Washing your hands regularly with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough and sneeze. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands.
- If any players, officials or spectators show any symptoms (however mild) of COVID-19 – these include a high temperature or a new, continuous cough – they should self-isolate by staying at home for 7 days. No adult or child should be attending football matches or training sessions if they suspect that they have relevant symptoms. If a child is not attending school due to symptoms, they should not be attending football sessions.
- Avoid shaking hands – discuss and agree alternatives with opposition coaches, match and league officials.
High Risk Groups – In older adults, those with weakened immune systems and those with cancer, diabetes and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the risk of having severe symptoms is much higher. It would, therefore, be sensible for anyone in an at-risk group to avoid crowds.
All clubs are advised to liaise with their league/competition as a first point of contact with regards to fixtures. Any decision to continue playing or to postpone their respective competitions is a matter for each league at the present time.